Glass: A Portrait of Philip In Twelve Parts

Eye on the Oscars: Documentaries

COUNTRY: Australia

DIRECTOR: Scott Hicks is a two-time Oscar nominee for “Shine,” which he co-wrote and directed. But he began as a documentarian, earning an Emmy for an earlier effort, “Submarines: Sharks of Steel.”

SUBJECT: Composer Philip Glass is seen at work and play, and his friends, family and colleagues are interviewed.

FINANCING: Co-produced by Hicks and Susanne Preissler, pic was entirely financed by individual private investors in Adelaide.

DISTRIB: Distributed by Koch Lorber, “Glass” has been released in select cities, and is scheduled to be released on DVD next year.

HELMER COMMENTS: “I’ve known Philip for almost 10 years,” Hicks says. “His management encouraged the relationship after learning of my interest in his music. But it’s one thing to admire a person and another to meet him. And I have to say that meetings seldom enhance appreciation. Yet Philip was absolutely delightful. I found him remarkable and inspirational as a person and as an artist. In 2005, it was suggested I do a documentary about him in connection with his 70th birthday. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I just said yes, providing he would allow me access. I knew I didn’t want to make a performance piece. This had to be about the man and his life. The whole journey for me was a revelation, a kind of adventure. When I filmed him hearing his Eighth Symphony played for the first time, I imagined what it might be like to watch a DVD of Mozart hearing the premiere of ‘The Magic Flute.’ “

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